TRAPPE — If you’re channel-surfing Sunday evening, you may spot a couple of familiar faces.
Footage of 6-year-old Eli Lambert of Trappe and his big brother Seaghan, 8, will air on America’s Funniest Home Videos at 7 p.m. on ABC.
The TV Guide synopsis of the 30- to 40-second home movie reads as follows: “Boy swallows flashing light.”
And so he did. In July Eli acquired a tiny battery-powered flashing diode. About as thick as a pencil and half an inch long, the diodes are widely available at carnivals and fairs. Being an inquisitive lad, he wondered, were he to put the diode in his mouth, if its light would be visible through his cheek. There was only one way to find out.
But “He lost control of it and swallowed it,” according to his mother, Dorri Gowe-Lambert. While she called the pediatrician, her husband, Woody, did what men always do when something special happens: he grabbed his video camera.
“We’ve had several serious emergency room traumas,” said Dorri Tuesday, “so we kind of took it lightly from the start.” Woody filmed Eli’s stomach flashing while his brother danced around in his red underwear.
Their pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Mason of Bay Pediatrics, was not so sanguine. Concerned about possible toxic chemicals in the battery, she sent them to the University of Maryland Hospital’s pediatric emergency room in Baltimore. The diode was still flashing when they arrived. Dr. Keyvan Rafei examined Eli and ordered an X-ray, and concluded that neither the diode nor the battery posed a threat. He advised the Gowe-Lamberts to let nature take its course. It was Wednesday.
Thursday came and went, as did Friday, but the diode did not.
“At this point, I was getting nervous,” says Dorri, “so we fed him blueberries all day Saturday, and they did the trick.”
It was Dorri who first suggested sending the video of Eli’s flashing stomach to America’s Funniest Home Videos. The producers liked what they saw, and it was chosen to air.
The Gowe-Lamberts were flown to California, and ferried to and from the Magic Castle Hotel, one block from Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, by limousine. They arrived on a Tuesday, and the show was filmed on Wednesday.
Rather than return home on Thursday, the family — Eli, Seaghan, 2-year-old Kellen, Woody, Dorri and babysitter Whitney Stratton — spent a couple of extra days in Los Angeles. They went to Disneyland, California Adventure and the Santa Monica Pier. And Dorri and Whitney saw Johnny Depp’s handprints and footprints being enshrined in the Walk of Fame in front of Grumman’s Chinese Theater.
Each episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos features three segments, and the studio audience chooses the winner. In case you miss it Sunday night, watch this space next week to find out how Eli and his flashing stomach made out.